Roșia Montană Once Again Imperiled
In an unfortunate turn of events, Romania’s new Prime Minister issued a call to withdraw the nomination of Roșia Montană to the World Heritage Tentative List—a nomination that was submitted in early January 2017 under the former PM. Protests against revoking the nomination are being organized this weekend in major cities, including Bucharest, Cluj, and Iasi.
Until recently, the surviving landscape was threatened with almost complete destruction by plans to resume and expand open-pit mining. A joint venture between the Romanian state and a foreign mining company would use cyanide to extract gold from what would become the largest open-pit gold mine in Europe. The Romanian Ministry of Culture’s official application to make the village of Roșia Montană a UNESCO World Heritage Site was seen as a key step in securing protection of the cultural heritage of the Roșia Montană landscape after over a decade of campaigning.
A 2016 World Monuments Watch site, the cultural significance of Roșia Montană’s mining landscape—developed over a period of more than two millennia—is indisputable. We at WMF are deeply saddened and concerned to learn that this heritage is once again imperiled from a rash decision to question the validity of the World Heritage nomination.
We support local advocates’ call to protect the site and encourage others to voice their support by signing the online petition at https://speakout.de-clic.ro/campaigns/64.